Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

John Jeremiah Sullivan (b4b – s2.e5)

In radio show on May 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

“When you suspend judgement, you see things more clearly.”
John Jeremiah Sullivan

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John Jeremiah Sullivan (b4b – s2.e5)

May 24:
Reference books collect dust. They give weight to the bottom shelf and they adorn, lazily, the coffee table. They also provide; for building cold frames and raised beds in your yard, look no further than Eliot Coleman’s excellent book, Four Season Harvest.

Jack Kirby is, for some, the King of Comics. As the under-acknowledged co-creator of characters such as Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk, he has never been given his due. Further illumination is beautifully delivered in Mark Evanier’s Kirby.

Feature: John Jeremiah Sullivan
Books for Breakfast talked to writer/editor John Jeremiah Sullivan about his recent collection of 14 essays, Pulphead. “The image that comes to mind,” JJS said of the book, “is of mirrors in a room, where all the pieces in the collection speak together.” His essays work to understand famous misfits (Michael Jackson in “Michael”; or the bratty G’n’R frontman in “The Final Comeback of Axl Rose”), and to illuminate dark corners of history and culture (as in “Lahwineski: Career of and Eccentric Naturalist”). This interview is rife with audio gems.

Next Week: Marc Bell & Amy Lockhart
Cartoonist and illustrator Marc Bell has an incredible vernacular of geometric squiggles (geometiggles?), cellular doodles, and offbeat characters. His new book is Pure Pajamas. Artist Amy Lockhart makes animations, live action films and videos, drawings, paintings, comics and small books. ‘Toon in next week, May 31st.

Things we talked about:

Guru farmer Eliot Coleman

Jack Kirby, King of Comics

Guy recommends reading theessayist
and David Foster Wallace

Peter finds good longform @ longreads

Cartoonist Marc Bell

Artist Amy Lockhart


Sara Wheeler (b4b – s2.e4)

In radio show on May 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

“There are masses of Science writers, my role is to do something different.”
Sara Wheeler

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Download Here:   Sara Wheeler (b4b – s2.e4)

May 18th:
Look to the young and you will find The Spirit of Reading is alive and kicking. Dan witnessed it at the 2012 Festival of Trees this past Tuesday, May 15th. The festival gathers 4000+ under-fourteens form across Ontario, converging to chat, squabble, and generally go ga-ga about Canadian books written for young readers. It amounts to an eight hour hootenany of “woos” and “woo-hoos”, all about new books and their authors. The Forest of Reading program excites young readers.

Feature: Sara Wheeler
Peter called across the pond to talk with travel writer/geo-anthropologist Sara Wheeler about her most recent book, The Magnetic North. In it, Wheeler approaches the topic as a travel writer; she circumnavigates the countries of the North Pole with attention to the changing landscape, and its ramification on the lives of the people who exist above the Arctic circle.
Growing into middle age, Wheeler says, means that as a writer, she is looking at “what there is, rather than what could be.” If this means painting a dark picture of the north, so be it. But The Magnetic North is not simply a report on the ecological health of the north. “There are masses of Science writers,” Wheeler says, “my role is to do something different.” That “something different” demands emotional and psychic investment — the ingredients needed to write about what it means to be human, Besides, Wheeler offers, it’s the artist’s responsibility to find beauty amid horror.

Next Week: John Jeremiah Sullivan
American writer and editor JJS is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine, and southern editor of The Paris Review. His newest book is the collection of essays, Pulphead.

Things we talked about:

Sara Wheeler’s The Magnetic North

OLA: Red Maple Reading Program

Kenneth Oppel’ s Half Brother

Sharon E McKay’s Thunder over Kandahar

Josh Cotter’s Skyscrapers of the Midwest

John Jeremiah Sullivan

Again, you can hear today’s episode here

Dan Wells (Biblioasis) & Anakana Schofield (b4b – s2.e3)

In radio show on May 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Malarky is one of the bravest, most blackly funny novels I’ve read in a long time.”
Dan Wells of Biblioasis

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Dan Wells (Biblioasis) & Anakana Schofield (b4b – s2.e3)

May 10th
Maurice Sendak died last week. His newest book, Bumble-Ardy, is the story of a pig who has never had a birthday party, but, at his ninth birthday, his Aunt Adeline allows him to go hog wild… (!?). And did you read Dave Eggers’ The Wild Things? No? Well, it really fleshes out the story of Max and his visit to where the wild things are. RIP, Maurice Sendak.

And what about the Toronto Comic Arts Festival? Can you possibly offer any real excuse for missing such a mind blowing line up of guests and tablers? Seth, Marc Bell, Chester Brown, Kate Beaton, Jeff Smith, Bryan Lee O’Malley….

Features: Dan Wells & Anakana Schofield
Dan Wells is the publisher and editor of Biblioasis, a small press based in Emeryville, On. They publish “beautifully crafted” editions of literary fiction, poetry, essays, and works in translation. Sometimes, if you catch Dan at a festival or special event, you might even get yer mitts on his handbound, limited edition books. Dan joins us in “fighting form” after a night of fundraising in T.O. to talk about his new batch of books. He says, “this season may be our strongest yet, in terms of literary merit, across the board.” And he segues to Anakana Schofield, calling her novel Malarky, “a tale of an Irish farm wife, turned sexual outlaw.”

Anakana Schofield is an Irish-Canadian writer living in Vancouver who is perhaps more comfortable as a reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement than as a novelist. And yet her first book, Malarky, is making waves. We talk to her about creating characters, facing madness, double widowhood, finding inspiration in the street and the workplace.

Things we talked about:

Dan Griffin in Guelph with Julie Fader

Metcalf Rooke Award



Doug Wright Awards

Carrie Snyder and Andrew Hood booklaunch @ The Bookshelf!

Invisible Press in Halifax

The New Quarterly

Carrie Snyder & Kate McQuaid (anansi) (b4b – s2.e2)

In radio show on May 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

b4b s2.e2 – Carrie Snyder & Kate McQuaid (Anansi)

Andrew Hood (b4b – s2.e1)

In radio show on May 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Books For Breakfast S2.E1 – Andrew Hood